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Let's talk silicone…

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  • #79767
    Moze
    Moderator
    Dallas, TX

    OK, it’s not exactly an exciting subject, but it turns out that just grabbing a tube of silicone from Home Depot isn’t necessarily the correct thing to do. I used to think that GE Silicone I or GE Silicone II basically serve the same purpose, other than the II cures faster. So my reasoning used to be that “silicone is silicone” and if it was going to rain soon, the II was the way to go.

    Before I go into this too far, I’m curious if anyone knows where I might be going with this.

    Resident Sign Guy

    #79770
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I don’t know where you are trying to go. I have a couple different one’s that I use, but I will have to look.

    #79775

    I do not think that they are all the same. After using the Kerdi Fix from Schluter that is my favorite adhesive type silicone for wet applications and where white is OK (since I think that is the only color it comes in). Amazing stuff, but expensive.

    I will be interested in this thread actually as I have a lot of caulking to do in my master bath remodel and I want something that is going to last and not mildew.

    Orange County, CA

    #79778
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I use mostly OSI Quad. It comes in a couple hundred colors and clear also

    #79781
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    I would imagine like everything else silicone products are apllication specific.

    What is a good all purpose silicone?

    What about wet applications?

    What about shrinkage? No mater which brand i buy for external use after a year it has shrunk and leaves gaps.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #79799
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Not all silicone is the same – I have used OSI Quad for interior and exterior applications for some time and have never had a problem.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #79800

    Thanks on the recommendation of the brand OSI Quad…now I need to look for it here. Anyone in So Cal know where this might be carried?

    Orange County, CA

    #79806
    Moze
    Moderator
    Dallas, TX

    OK, here’s what initiated my research:

    I install a lot of signs on concrete, masonry, etc. I used to go to Home Depot and get either the GE Silicone I or the II. From what I read on the label, the only difference was the II cures faster and can be subjected to moisture faster as a result.

    So if I was going to install signs and there was rain in the forecast, I would use the GE II. If the weather was clear, I would use the GE I.

    Easy enough.

    Well, then I started looking for better pricing on silicone since I use so much of it. The website I wound up buying it from offers a General Purpose Silicone, a Premium Silicone, and a Neutral Cure silicone. I didn’t understand why there were the various types. I thought silicone was silicone.

    Long story short, there are basically two types of silicone:

    Acid Cure: Turns out the general purpose silicone (GE Silicone I) is a acid cure silicone – it contains acetoxy which gives off that strong ammonia smell as it evaporates and cures. This type of silicone is NOT recommended for use on masonry, brick, stone, vinyl, some plastics, etc.

    Neutral Cure: Neutral cure silicone doesn’t contain acetoxy. It is described as a oxime curing silicone which has a noticeably lower odor and is recommended for use on masonry, brick, stone, vinyl, plastics, etc.

    That all being said, I’ve never had a sign installation fail where I’ve used general purpose silicone. The stuff is incredibly strong and WILL adhere to masonry, brick, etc. even though it isn’t recommended for that purpose.

    So when it’s all said and done, does any of this matter? Probably not. Will general purpose silicone keep a sign adhered to a concrete wall for 50 years? Probably. For me, it’s more a matter of covering my butt and knowing I’m using the recommended product for a given application. If a competitor’s sign installation fails, it’s a chance to educate the customer on the proper materials and adhesives and showing that there’s more to just slapping a sign on the wall.

    Again, the above is probably all relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but I think educating myself on the materials I use and always ensuring I’m giving my customer the best I can, pays off in the end.

    Resident Sign Guy

    #79807
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Here is a link to OSI’s “where to buy” page on their website.
    http://www.osipro.com/where-to-buy.shtml

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #79813
    Moze
    Moderator
    Dallas, TX

    I use mostly OSI Quad. It comes in a couple hundred colors and clear also

    And this is exactly what I like to read. There are so many sealants and adhesives on the market, it comes down to which is the best one for YOUR/MY specific application? Do you need a sealant or an adhesive? Silicone is technically a sealant but I use it as an adhesive.

    Is silicone the most cost effective product I can use? I haven’t priced OSI and have no idea how it would work holding a sign to the wall, but I’d be curious to see.

    Lexel is another product that gets rave reviews, but I’ve never priced or researched it.

    Resident Sign Guy

    #79814

    Thanks…does not look like they sell a product for showers and wet areas, though. I think HD carries some of this brand — glad to know it is a quality product — I do have some gutter repair and window sealing I need to do.

    Orange County, CA

    #79825
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    So when would use general purpose acid cure silicone?

    #79833
    MKE_Voltage
    Moderator
    Saint Francis, WI

    I must admit I have never even thought about the silicone sealer that I use. When I am caulking in an exterior hole on a home I just use whatever silicone I grab from HD. This thread has really made me re-think this strategy.

    #79835
    jim_hunt17
    Pro
    Milwaukee, WI

    That would be my question also Jerry. I would think anything with acid in it would be something to avoid using.

    Jim H.
    Milwaukee, WI

    #79943
    Moze
    Moderator
    Dallas, TX

    So when would use general purpose acid cure silicone?

    This is from the site I buy mine from, referring to general purpose silicone: It adheres to metal, glass, marble, tile, ceramic, porcelain, painted surfaces, non-oily woods, rubber, and many plastics.

    That would be my question also Jerry. I would think anything with acid in it would be something to avoid using.

    It’s ok to use, it just smells worse than the neutral cure silicone. The acid (acetoxy) actually evaporates which causes/allows the silicone to cure. That’s another reason I wind up just using the neutral cure on everything. It can basically be used on everything that an acetoxy curing silicone can be used on, plus it can be used on masonry, etc., PLUS it smells better. I get it for about $1 more per tube, but I can use it on basically everything plus it’s not as obnoxious smelling. It’s worth the extra cost to me.

    Resident Sign Guy

    #79946
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Just curious, I know that silicone makes a pretty good adhesive but is there a reason you use it over a product like an epoxy or polyurethane based adhesive?

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #79964
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Moze, Lexel is a great product and I have seen great reviews on it but I think the price is about double what the GE priducts would be. Way back when I worked at a lumber yard, it was double most other caulks.

    #79973
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    I haven’t really paid much attention to which silicone I use because until this thread I thought silicone was silicone. I had noticed that some tubes were much smellier than others. I just wrote it off to brand differences because I had not ever paid attention. Now I know how to control that if I need to and lots of places I need to.

    #80057

    Great information guys. It will help when buying silicone in the future. Moze, I had a add a piece of trim in a place where I could not nail. A friend recommended silicone and it worked great. He uses it all the time for adhesive.

    #80062

    I usually just go with GE since I recognize the brand. I’ll have to pay more attention in the future.

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